IMDb Message Boards

IMDb Message Boards are a good way to connect with the rest of the IMDb community. To look at what others have to say on the boards, you don’t need an account, but if you want to contribute, you’ll need to be registered and logged in to your account.

How to Use IMDb Message Boards

To access the message boards, select the News & Community drop down menu from underneath the search bar, and select Message Boards.

You will now see the message board homepage, which looks like the screenshot below, except we’ve highlighted a few areas of interest. Clicking one of the links beside “Jump” will take you to that general category of message boards. Below the general category, you can click a subtopic to view message threads within that topic.

In the top-right corner, you can also see your profile information and options, including how many new messages have been posted in message threads that you have contributed to. Below that, you can access IMDb-sponsored user polls.

Once you find a topic you’d like to read about or contribute to, click one of the subtopics. In this example, we’ve jumped to Film Talk and selected the Film General subtopic.

Here are a bunch of threads (conversations) that you can scroll through and contribute to. To add your own thread, select Start New Topic at the top.

Simply enter the subject you’re topic is about, and then write a message. When you’re done, click Preview to see how your post will look, and when you’re fully satisfied, click Post. Then just sit back and wait for the discussion to begin!

To reply to a post, click the title of the post and select Reply in the top right corner of the post. To see previous replies to a post, click on the reply you’d like to see, such as the one at the bottom of the example screenshot below – they will be minimized otherwise.

And that’s a quick tour of how to navigate and use IMDb’s message boards!


Advanced Search on IMDb

If your search is too vague or there are too many results to sift through, you can always do an advanced search. An advanced search allows you to use more options – as opposed to just using a keyword search – to pinpoint what you’re looking for. 

To access the advanced search options, click the drop-down menu next to the search bar and select Advanced Search. You’ll be redirected to a page that allows you to choose what kind of advanced search you want to do.

Advanced Title Search and Advanced Name Search

These two search functions are used for when you’re trying to find an actor/actress or a movie title, and are having a hard time. Select Advanced Title Search to begin a search for a movie title. 

Here you are given plenty of options to choose from. You can search for something by genre, the estimated release dates (between 2013 and 2014, for example), the title type (movie, TV show, documentary, etc), or many other criteria. 

You can even search if it’s a colour film or black and white, or if you know the production company that filmed the movie. Fill out whatever information you know and select Search at the bottom.

You’ll see all the results that match your search.

Advanced Name Search works in much the same way, except the questions differ slightly. Instead, they ask questions about what films the actor/actress has starred in, their date of birth (can be rounded, like 1969 – 1973), their gender, and even their height. 

Collaborations and Overlaps

Maybe you want to see what titles Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci worked on together? Or compare two films to see if anyone was involved in both productions? Collaborations and Overlaps Search allows you to do just that.  Just select Collaborations and Overlaps to start your search.

You’ll be taken to a page where you can do one of two things: find common cast/crew between two titles, or find two people working together. 

For common cast/crew, enter in two film names. For two people working together, enter in two actor/actress names. When you’re done, click Search underneath.

You’ll be redirected to your results page.

Title Text Search and Name Text Search

A Title Text Search is much like the regular keyword search, just a little bit more specific. Here you are able to add a keyword and search by a particular section – such as plot, trivia, quotes, filming locations, and more – to find a result.

Try entering the word "pictures", then click the drop-down menu beside it, and then select Quotes. When you’re done, click Submit.

You’ll see a list of the most popular titles that have quotes matching your search.

Name Text Search works in the same way, except you search within different sections – biographies, trivia, quotes – that focus on actors/actresses rather than film titles. 


How to Find Top Movies and TV Shows on IMDb

If you’re stuck on what to watch, or you want to start thinking about a movie for movie night but aren’t sure what’s good, knowing how to find the top movies and shows on IMDb is a great place to start.

With this tutorial, you’ll be able to find the top rated movies and TV shows 

How to Find Top Movies on IMDb

There are many ways to find top movies. IMDb’s ultimate list, based on their ratings, is their Top 250 list. To find this list, either go to www.imdb.com/chart/top or search Top 250 in the IMDb search bar. 

This will take you right to IMDb’s Top 250 movies of all time. The default sorting method is IMDb’s rating system – this means that the movies with IMDb’s highest ratings will be on the list. Examples of movies included in this list at The Shawshank Redemption (1994), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) and It’s a Wonderful Life (1946).

You can use the drop down menu on the right to sort the list by IMDb Rating (default), US Release Date, Number of Ratings, and Your Ratings. To the right of that is a button that allows you to organize the list from highest to lowest, or from lowest to highest. 

Another way to find popular movies on IMDb is by using Google Search. Try going to Google Search and typing in “IMDb Popular Movies” to see the results. You’ll find lists for Most Popular Feature Films Released In 2013, Most Popular Action Feature Films, and Most Popular Comedy Feature Films, among others. 

If you know of a genre you’d like to watch specifically – or if you want a movie from a particular year – try to narrow down your search terms. For example, instead of typing just “IMDb Popular Movies,” type in “IMDb Popular Horror Movies” instead. This will give you results for the highest-rated horror feature films, or most popular horror feature films. 

Lastly, you can always look on the right-hand menu while searching a movie to see related lists made up by IMDb users. For example, if you want to watch a movie like A Christmas Story (1983), find the movie using the search bar at the top and go to that title’s page.

Scroll down while paying attention to the right-hand side. You’ll see a section called "User Lists" that will have lists related to the title you’re currently looking at. For A Christmas Story, you’ll see lists like "Happy Holidays!" (for Christmas movies) and "1983 Films" (for films released that year). 

When you find a list you’d like to check out, click on it to see the full list of titles in that list. You’ll get a short synopsis of what the movie is about and who stars in it.

How to Find Top TV Shows on IMDb

Finding top TV shows using IMDb is very similar, with one exception. IMDb does not have an official Top 250 TV shows list by ratings. The only way to find top TV shows is by using Google Search or by finding lists.

Try typing “IMDb Top TV Shows” into Google Search. You’ll find plenty of results – and as with movies, you can narrow your search by adding a year or a genre or any other search criteria. 

Finding lists is the same with TV shows as it is in movies. Something to keep in mind when searching lists is that any user can make a list, and they can add whatever they like to it. Some lists are meant to be helpful for others, but some are meant to be for the user themselves – this is the case when you run into many lists that say “Plan to Watch” or My TV Series.” 


IMDb Rating System

What are IMDb ratings?

The IMDb rating system is a way for moviegoers to rate the shows and movies that they watch on a scale of 1to 10. Anyone who is registered on IMDb can vote on a movie – for more info on how to sign up with IMDb, check out our How to Sign Up for IMDb tutorial

How the Rating System Works

Since you have to be registered on the site to vote, IMDb can keep track of the users who vote on everything (though they don’t make this information public) and thus it allows you to vote as many times as you like on one thing – but your most current vote will rewrite your previous vote.

Most ratings use what is known as the arithmetic mean, which means all votes are treated equally and the rating is found by adding up the sum of all votes and dividing equally. So if there were two votes – a vote for one and a vote for nine – then the rating would be a five. 

IMDb uses what is known as weighted average, which means that different votes hold a different weight – though IMDb won’t divulge exactly how their method works, they ensure it is fair and used across the site for all shows and movies. An example of a weighted average would be a hotel room. If there were five categories and it scored high in four, it could still get a low rating. If it was cost-efficient and well-located, but was infested with cockroaches, then the cleanliness category would carry more weight than the others.

How to Rate a Movie

It’s really simple to rate a movie on IMDb. All you need to do is be logged in, and you can rate whatever you like. 

  1. First you need to find the movie you want to rate. To do this, type in the movie or show title after clicking on the search bar at the top. Sometimes by typing in the first few letters, you’ll see what you’re looking for in the drop down menu. Once you’ve found it, click on it. If it doesn’t appear there, select See all results for [insert search here]

  2. This will show you movie and TV show titles that match what you searched, along with the names of actors or fictional characters that match. However, if you only put in the first few letters and want to do a full search like this, you’ll only get results that match those letters. In the search bar, IMDb tries to guess what you’re typing, which is why you may only need to type in a few letters. See the difference in search results from the screenshot above and below, both using the letters “casa.” 

    Find the title you’re looking for and click it. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, try reading our IMDB Advanced Search tutorial

  3. You’ll be taken to the movie’s page. From there, you’ll notice a section for ratings to the right of the movie poster. The large star with the number in it shows the rating it has right now.  For this example, we’ll use Casablanca (1942), which has a rating of 8.6 out of 10. 

  4. Next to it are 10 stars, which will be grey if you haven’t already rated this title.  Let’s give this movie a nine out of 10. Click on the ninth star from the left, and you’ll notice the first nine stars will turn purple. 

You’ll be able to see your rating each time you come to the title’s IMDb page – which can be helpful for yourself if you want to re-watch a movie, you’ll know which movies you didn’t particularly like and which ones you loved.  You can also change your rating in the same way that you made your first one, if your opinion on a show or movie changes.


How to Use IMDb

IMDb is quite simple to use, and there are a few uses for it. You can use it to find new releases, trailers, show times, and a history of movies and TV series.

How to Search with IMDb

  1. You can use the search bar at the top to find films, actors, and even fictional characters. To search for something, click inside this bar and start typing in your keywords. You’ll notice a drop down menu that will try to guess what you’re looking for.If you find what you’re looking for in the drop down menu, click it. If not, finish typing and click the magnifying glass (or press “Enter” on your keyboard) to search all of IMDb.

  2. If you’d like to search different parts of IMDb, click the drop-down menu next to the search bar and choose between 11 options. For more information, check out our IMDb Advanced Search tutorial (here).
  3. If you’ve chosen to search by All (the default), then the results page will show you all the results – from titles to names to characters to keywords and more – and you can choose to jump to that section by clicking the link to it at the top.  Or, click a result to go to a page of information on that person, movie, show, etc.

How to Find Movie Showtimes Near You

This one is quick and easy! On the homepage, you’ll notice the Showtimes section on the right hand side. IMDb finds your approximate location and can suggest theaters near you. Click See All Showtimes to take a look.

From here you can search on different days, find different theaters, and search for different movies. Click Change beside your location to pick a different one, or click one of the date buttons below to look for showtimes on that date. Click the Movies tab to sort movies by alphabetical order, or click Theaters to sort movies by an alphabetical list of what theaters they’re playing in.

Celebrity News

IMDb is also a great source for entertainment news, and it’s not hard to find. The homepage has the latest movie and show trailers and celebrity interviews, but for more articles and videos, click the Celeb, Events & Photos drop down menu under the search bar and click Celebrity News.

You’ll be taken to a list of the most recent celebrity news, so all you’ll need to do is scroll and read what interests you!

And that’s a quick tour of IMDb and some of the things you can do on it!